Human "Connection" over Human "Correction"

Human “Connection” over Human “Correction”

I’ve never found that my staunch effort to “prove I’m right” helps in building a relationship. I’ve noticed the opposite occurs. When there are two emotionally charged opposing viewpoints, taking a staunch approach to “prove my point” usually polarizes the other person to build a wall of self-protection and provokes a back-and-forth bantering of arguments of each person trying “to prove their point”.

I’m currently in a business-related dispute that could prove costly financially. The relationship has been good for many months but now I feel like I’m being wronged. I feel incredulous at their viewpoint. My inner voice of irritation repeats a mantra that says, “Really? I can’t believe this! This seems so obvious to me”.

I’m sure you’ve been there. So, what are some keys to not only preserving a relationship but building a healthier relational connection when there is opposing emotionally charged viewpoints?

The main key, to preserving and even building a stronger relationship amidst emotion filled conflict is to persistently “pursue human connection over human correction”. (If possible, choose the relationship over having to be right). Romans 12:18 states: “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” (GNT) Below are some directives that I’ve observed and found helpful.

1) Affirm the Relationship: Communicate that you value the relationship. Saying something like, “I can see that we both have very differing viewpoints on this. I’m hopeful we can work through this together.”

2) Acknowledge their Viewpoint: We all desire to have our particular viewpoint validated in a disagreement. If the other person feels “heard”, they are more likely to “hear” you.

3) Refrain from “Relational Disconnectors”: There are certain attitudes, actions and words that can easily “push people further away”, rather than “drawing them in”, such as:

- Attitudes of condescension, contempt and criticism

- Actions like not returning calls, rolling of the eyes, complaining about them to others

- Words that blame, demean or curse

4) Be Forthright: Being direct without arrogance can create a conversational culture of respect. Being up front with what you desire

5) Be Secure in Christ: Take Jesus’ example of not allowing another person determine your worth or stealing your joy.

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